Khaosod English: A witness of the deadly military crackdown on Redshirt protesters in 2010 emerged from six days of military detention today, a day after the junta denied any involvement in her arrest. Nattathida Meewangpla, 36, was arrested at her residence in Samut Prakarn by five soldiers on 11 March and had been detained in communicado since.
The military has detained incommunicado for almost a week a female medic who is a key witness of the killing of red shirts at a Bangkok temple in 2010, said a human rights lawyer. Winyat Chatmontree, a human rights lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA), on Monday told Prachatai that Nattatida Meewangpla, aka Wan, was taken from her house in Samut Prakan on 11 March.
Activists rallied for women’s rights and an end to military rule on International Women’s Day, pointing out that the rights of both women and men have been suspended under the junta regime. Anti-junta activists and others staged a rally from the 14 October Memorial to the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in central Bangkok on Sunday afternoon, International Women’s Day, in a ‘Wearing Sarongs and Aiming for Elections’ campaign.
Military officers tried to cancel a media workshop in the restive deep south, claiming that they were ordered to do so by their superiors.
UN Human Rights High Commissioner has urged the Thai junta to respect freedom of expression to ensure open discussion during the drafting of constitution. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Thursday pointed out his concerns on the imposition of the martial law, which has given to the military the power to crack down on political dissent and opposition.
Despite the junta’s crackdowns on political dissent and the imposition of the martial law, the Thai Foreign Minister said at a UN human rights meeting that Thailand has given much importance to human rights in its attempt to maintain national security. Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, who represented Thailand at the 28th United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 4 March 2015, said before the meeting that Thailand paid attention to human rights, which apply to everyone equally.
A people’s forum on reform pointed out that the junta uses martial law to silence people while plundering natural resources in communities nationwide against the will of the local people.
You see, we need martial law so that we can enjoy the calm and order that has been achieved since the coup. (Well, as long as we ignore the south, but then everybody always ignores the south.) If we didn’t have martial law, who knows what mayhem and anarchy would result. And when the odd bit of mayhem and anarchy does occur, then we need martial law to put an end to the very thing that martial law was supposed to prevent.
Amid tension with villagers, the Thai military continues to help oil company transport equipment into a potential oilfield in the northeast, despite an NHRC order to halt the process. Despite a recent order by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the company to halt operations due to the project’s controversial Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), military officers and district officials have helped the company to occupy major roads leading to the oil field to secure the convoy’s access to the area since Saturday.
The military has helped a petroleum company bypass proper environmental impact assessment procedures and an NHRC order to halt petroleum exploration and threatened villagers opposing the exploration with martial law. About 40 armed police and military officers on Friday morning assisted Apico (Korat) Limited, a US-based oil and gas exploration company, to move oil-drilling equipment into a potential oil field called Dongmoon in Kranuan District of the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.